Microsoft shared the first of its new holiday 2011 "family" TV ads during this past weekend. But the behind-the-scenes planning around the campaign is more interesting than the spots themselves.
The new Crispin Porter campaign highlights the "family" of Microsoft consumer products (Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Xbox gaming consoles and Office) and how they can appeal to the whole family. But according to a new "OEM Integrated Holiday Campaign" fact sheet, the partner side of the campaign is largely centered around selling more PCs.
Microsoft has its holiday work cut out for it. Microsoft still wants to sell "a couple hundred million more Windows 7 PCs" in the coming months before Windows 8 PCs and tablets come to market (still expected in less than a year or so). It's worth noting that Microsoft isn't highlighting any Windows tablets in its holiday campaign, seemingly because officials don't consider them to be strong enough competitors to the iPad in the consumer market. (The new crop of Windows 7 tablets that are coming to market in recent months potentially have more business than consumer appeal.)
The "primary goal" of this year's holiday campaign is listed on the OEM fact sheet as increasing Windows PC purchase intent. The secondary goal: "Attach Microsoft Office 2010 to each PC purchase and upsell additional products and services."
Here's the fact sheet (click on image to enlarge):
The targets of the campaign are "home honchos" -- a k a adults between 25 and 54 who "use technology for personal organization" -- and "media moderates," or adults between 25 and 54 who use technology for entertainment.
The "customer key message" is defined this way:
"The whole family will be enchanted with a new Windows 7 PC. With Windows Live they’ll be able to create and share memories with easy-to-use photo and movie making apps. They’ll be able to easily connect with their friends across the room -- or the world -– with beautiful HD video chat. And they can choose from a wide range of PCs that are as beautiful and unique as every member of their family."
The pitch: Windows 7 PCs allow users to create and entertain. ("Your customers can have the time of their lives with movies, TV, and gaming that connects the whole family," according to messaging pillar number 2.)
I'm not a fan of the new Microsoft holiday ads that I've seen so far. They seem old-fashioned and not very memorable to me (and the majority of my readers who've weighed in on them). Maybe we'll see Microsoft repeat its Seinfeld strategy -- i.e., reverse course mid-campaign like it did after its Seinfeld Vista commercials bombed? In any case, I'm of the opinion Microsoft has some good products to market this holiday season, but it has yet to find a compelling way to do so....